Great Technical Writing: The Two-edged Sword Of Reader Experience

Great Technical Writing: The Two-edged Sword Of Reader Experience


When we write User Documents we rely on our Reader’s/User’s experience to simplify our work. This can cause problems for the Reader. This article will discuss the effects of Reader experience and how to minimize the negative effects of incompatible experience, and how to handle the writer’s assumptions about the Reader.

Writer’s Benefits: Relying on Reader Experience

When we write, we rely on our Reader’s experience to give us a "starting point" for our User Document. Often we make hidden assumptions about our Reader’s experience.

Here are some examples where relying on our Reader’s experience makes things easy (and causes problems) for us as writers:

Example: Using a Computer’s Mouse

In writing User Documentation for Graphical User Interface-based computer products (such as the Windows or Mac User interface), we assume that the the Reader knows how to use a mouse to click on items, drag, etc. This saves much background writing.

Example: Cooking: How to Measure Ingredients; Terms

Cook books save space by (usually correctly) assuming that a Reader can perform basic cooking operations (such as measuring ingredients), and terms (such as puree or slice).

Example: Common Acronyms

We rely on "common" acronyms such as AM and PM to simplify our writing lives. However, many Readers use a 24 hour clock, and thus AM and PM are meaningless to them.

Beware of any acronyms that you assume that your Reader knows. It is best to define acronyms in line (perhaps in parentheses) when they are first presented in that part of the User Document.

You cannot define them only the first time they appear in the User Document. This assumes — incorrectly — that Users read your User Document from start to finish.

Problems Writers Cause When Assuming User Experience

Our assumptions as writers can get us into trouble.

Example: Unfamiliar Words

Here’s a gardening example: Acme’s (a fictitious company) Illustrated Guide to Gardening in Canada (1979) makes an incorrect assumption about its Readers:

In one of their definitions they use a term, "the axil of a leaf" to define another term. "Axil of a leaf" is not listed in the book’s index, and there is no glossary in the book. Clearly this book assumes that the Reader understands the term "the axil of a leaf." I don’t, and am therefore unhappy with the presentation.

Solution: Provide a glossary of gardening terms or a reference to a page in the book where the term is defined.

Example: Assuming Students’ Experience

Here is an example where an (unstated) assumption by a training company rendered one of their courses useless.

In order to do the exercises in a computer programming course, students had to be able to use an editor (a simple word processor) to program the system. The only editor available on the course machines was a UNIX editor known as vi.

Unfortunately, the students were not told that they needed to use the vi editor. The course presenters assumed that the students knew vi. The students did not, and they spent half the course time trying to learn and deal with vi.

The hidden assumption by the training company resulted in a failed learning experience (the students never needed to use vi again). It wasted two days of the four-day course time.

Don’t Present Assumptions in a Sneaky Way

If the training company had said that, "We train on UNIX systems," then they leave a way out for themselves when they disappoint students who do not know the vi editor. When confronted, the company could respond with, "We told you it was a UNIX system. You should know that vi is the editor available on that system."

This sneaky statement of the assumption is foolish. It will result in a lose-lose situation.

The Bottom Line

As writers, we to make assumptions about our Reader’s experience. However, if you make assumptions, then make sure that you tell the Reader what you assume about him/her.

Think about the assumptions that you make about your Reader. Are these assumptions valid (that is, can you really expect your Readers to meet your assumptions)? If there is any doubt in your mind, include information explaining the terms and procedures that you assume.

Make sure that when you state assumptions, that you present them in a way that the Reader (student) can understand what the assumption means to them. Don’t be sneaky about presenting the assumptions.

User Experience Can Cause Trouble for Writers

Your Reader’s experience can cause confusion. Here are some examples:

Example: Shampoo/Conditioner Product

One of my favorite examples is a combined hair shampoo and conditioner product. If a User has experience with the separate products, then their experience is to:

* Shampoo: Wet thenhair. Massage shampoo into the hair, then rinse it out.
* Conditioner: Wash the hair. Massage conditioner into the wet hair, leave in the hair for two or three minutes, then rinse it out.

The problem arises with the combined product. Should the User leave the product in the hair for two or three minutes (as done with the conditioner), or rinse it immediately (as done with the shampoo)?

The User Document (product label) for a combined shampoo-conditioner should tell the User how to use the two-in-one product. Most such labels do not.

Example: Words Used in Unexpected Ways

Your writing can set the expectations of the Reader, resulting in confusion when words are used unexpectedly.

An article in the Technology Section (of a newspaper on June 10, 2004, page B14) described, "How the little guy can back up computer data". The article was about computers. When I came to the sentence: "Let’s face it: backups are boring and a hassle to boot." I wondered about the phrase "to boot."

In computer jargon, "boot" is the process where the computer starts up ("lifts itself by its bootstraps"…by a program originally called a "bootstrap loader"). Does the author’s quote about "hassle to boot" mean that if I do backups, then my computer will be slower ("boring") and require more work from me to start up ("hassle to boot")?

The use of the phrase "to boot" is inappropriate in this article, given that "to boot" has multiple meanings. The author used it as slang for "in addition to." Since the article was about computers, I thought of the computer meaning of "to boot." The sentence would be less confusing if the author left out "to boot," as: "Let’s face it: backups are boring and a hassle." We’ll return to this example shortly.

Example: Functional Fixedness

An object’s function is fixed in a person’s mind. For example, a hammer’s function is to pound things. Experiments have demonstrated that people have a hard time using a hammer for an unusual function, such as a paperweight, a prop, or a lever. This is called functional fixedness.

Functional fixedness can limit the usefulness of your product. Your User Document should attempt to overcome functional fixedness. Perhaps this example will show how critical I am of User Documents.

I have a wrist global positioning satellite (GPS) device that keeps track of my long walks. Sweaters and heavy coats, needed for walking in the winter, make it difficult to wear the GPS device on the wrist. But it is a WRIST device. Functional fixedness arises, causing me struggle to use the GPS on my wrist. But it turns out that the GPS works well when used in a pocket.

The GPS User Document should mention this (obvious?) capability, thus reducing the functional fixedness associated with the WRIST GPS. In my defense: I am not sure that putting the wrist GPS in a pocket is more obvious than using a hammer as a paperweight.

Example: Humor

Humor relies on:

. a subtle knowledge of the language (for example a pun)
. or a knowledge of an event (perhaps a current event or entertainment event)

on which the humor is based. Here’s an example, from an old joke:

"You’re so funny, you should be on a stage. There’s one leaving in 15 minutes."

This joke relies on the Reader’s knowing the two meanings of "stage": (1) a place for performing, and (2) transportation used in the western United States in the 1800′s. Most Readers might not know the second meaning, rendering the humor a confusing waste of words.

Earlier we examined the sentence: "Let’s face it: backups are boring and a hassle to boot." The author used the phrase "to boot" as some form of folksy talk or humor. It confused the Reader.

Eliminate Humor from Your User Document

. Humor will only confuse Users who do not understand it.
. Humor is difficult, if not impossible, to translate into other languages.

I suggest that you use a writing style that is informal and conversational, but with no attempts at humor. Remove attempts at humor when you review and revise your writing.

If you want to write humor, do it elsewhere (you should be on a stage). User Documents are no place to practice your humor.

The Bottom Line


Be careful about what you assume about your Reader. When in doubt whether or not a Reader knows something:

. State your assumptions about your Reader
State the assumptions in a way that the Reader can relate to
. When in doubt, add the information that you assume, or
. Tell your Reader where to find the assumed information
By providing or pointing to this assumed information, you increase your audience

Readers’ Experience

Be aware of how your Reader’s experience influences how he/she interprets your User Document or uses your product. If necessary add material to your User Document to counter your Reader’s incompatible experience.

Super Bowl 2004

Super Bowl 2004

If you watched the Super Bowl, you know that Janet Jackson revealed one of two things. She revealed how silly and paranoid otherwise normal human beings can get. Unfortunately, she did not reveal how bored we have become with run-of-the-mill celebrity nudity. Had she revealed both things, like most celebrities, we probably would still be yawning.
Let’s do the math. There are 6,517 celebrities, according to the Celebrity Census Bureau, applying the official "celebrity accounting method".
Of those, 86.5* are "revolting", again using the CCB’s "celebrity accounting method", so nobody really wants to pay attention to their finer details.
Of the remaining 6,430.5 celebrities, 3,729.5* are male, using no particular accounting method. Who cares if they flash their front bumpers?
Of the remaining 2,701, 2100 pose in their birthday suits often, usually after their plastic surgeon makes a regularly scheduled emergency house call.
Of the remaining 601, just 79 have yet to wear their birthday suits in public, leading to persistent rumors of an undercover plot.
In February, 2004, the plot was uncovered. Janet’s Jackson’s exposure became the all-time top Internet search — surpassing even the September 11 attack on America. Even Osama’s sinister terrorists could not banish Americans to cyberspace as effectively as Janet Jackson, who obviously found a way to evade pop-up blockers.
Fortunately, nobody died from Janet Jackson’s stunt. If only we could convince Osama to adopt the "Janet Jackson Method" in the future, we would all be much safer.
Which brings me to the point of this article: what’s the big deal? Celebrity # 2623 reveals that she is almost as feminine as her brother. Big whoop-dee-do.
The Grammy Award organizers imposed a ten-second audio delay to prevent other celebrities from also seeking publicity. What?!? Isn’t that what celebrities do? Isn’t that their contribution to society? Garbage collectors collect garbage so we don’t die of disease. Farmers grow food so we don’t die of starvation. Celebrities seek publicity so we don’t die of boredom.
Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t know that part of the body had an audio track.
If they institute a ten-second audio delay, they should at least make it interesting. I say add a 30-second video delay, too. And why not make it really interesting? I’m a big fan of audience participation. Why not ask the audience for a one-minute applause delay?
Of course, there was the predictable outcry about "the children". That outcry did not extend to the commercials. Like the one about the male potency drug. Or the one with children swearing.
This being a family column, I can’t even pick on those commercials, which is the most frustrating torture a humor columnist can endure. Aaaarrrgh!
And did anybody notice what repugnant violence they slipped in around the commercials? Football. — where half the players on each team exist just to bash into half the players on the other team. They are not even supposed to touch the ball. They are strictly there to maintain the required quota of violence. No outcry there.
And what about the streaker? Did you notice the security guards chasing him out onto the field so that everyone could get a good look at his birthday suit? Why didn’t they chase him in the other direction? Did they accept a little payola? Who’s investigating them? Where’s the outcry?
When Janet Jackson showed just how deep her cleavage runs, where were the security guards? A conspiracy, perhaps? More payola? Or perhaps they knew the difference between full frontal (and backal and sidal) nudity on the one hand and just a little teasing in the other?
If you worry about "the children", why not get your kids decontaminated? Turn on a nice, wholesome station whose entire existence is dedicated to serving America’s youth: MTV.
* Michael Jackson

Where the Unknown Music Roams – Expand Your Music Library

Where the Unknown Music Roams – Expand Your Music Library

You’ve heard all your favorite music and artists on your local radio station. You’ve tuned in while hoping to hear something new and exciting. Unfortunately, the radio stations usually play the same tunes over and over. This causes other musicians to get left out in the cold. You may never hear of many fabulous rock singers, R and B artists, jazz professionals and Gospel greats if you only listen to what your radio station has to offer. Here are some tips to show you how to expand your music library with great songs you’ve probably never heard before.

Where Did The Music Go?

If hundreds of singing groups and musicians submit their songs to producers each year, but only a few get chosen, then where do all these amazing musicians go? Where and how are their songs being heard? Do they just give up? In the past, many of them would likely quit playing or singing all together once they were rejected in the mainstream music industry. But nowadays, a new avenue of getting their sensational music to the public has arisen; it’s called the World Wide Web!

There are now thousands of hip songs available online today that will probably never make it to the radio stations. The artists’ names will probably never be mentioned in the mainstream music industry. But, that doesn’t mean the songs are cheesy or that the artists have bad singing voices. It simply means they didn’t get chosen to be in the top music charts. Their music might be wonderful, but was overlooked or got lost in the crowd of other musicians and bands.

A Variety of Music

This happening isn’t limited to only one certain type of music or musician. Almost any type of music can fall victim to getting tossed in the "rejection" pile. This includes jazz, Latin, pop, R and B, hip hop, reggae, rock, folk, comedy, Gospel, blues, techno, spoken word, rap, etc.

No matter what your taste in music, there are probably thousands of artists who never made it in the big-time that you would enjoy listening to their music. Your music library can grow with great music CDs from these singers so you can listen to many different songs whenever you want instead of being limited to the over-played music on the radio.

Music on the Web

There are specialty websites online that focus on publicizing music and artists that have never been heard before. You can go online to listen to unique sample music, buy CDs, and buy merchandise. These artists are great even though they never made it big. You can usually try their music before you buy it to be certain it is right for you. So, there’s nothing to lose, but lots of amazing music to gain.

Music for Your Business

If you own a business where music is played often, you can also play some "unknown" music over the loud speaker for others to hear. Your customers will be amazed at all the distinct songs they hear in your store. You’ll be the talk of the town!

Whether it’s rock, jazz or hip hop you enjoy, or if it’s Gospel, country, folk, or some other type of music, you can expand your music library in no time with many great tunes that never made it to the top!

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The first Superman movie was released in 1978. It was an immediate hit at the box office due to the overwhelming number of people that had been enjoying the comic books for decades. This first of many Superman movies didn’t disappoint and it set a precedence for those that were to follow. The film wasn’t rushed and took from 1973 to 1978 to complete. The producers wanted this to be a very realistic film that covered the story of Superman from the beginning.
Yet there were some production problems from the very start. There were plenty of on screen conflicts. Too many people wanted this production to go according to their own ideas. That led to the film being delayed and over budget. There were plenty of notable special effects in the movie though that were very expensive to create.
Christopher Reeve was chosen to play Superman in the 1978 film. While he had numerous other wonderful movies in his career, it was this one that made him a household name. Other notables in this movie include Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. The cast was very dynamic together and it worked exceptionally well for the Superman movie.
It wasn’t long before the plans were underway for a complete series of Superman movies. Superman II came out in 1980, Superman III in 1983, and Superman IV in 1987. The latest release was Superman returns in 2006. Brandon Routh played Superman in this last movie. Every one of these films has lead to very high profits for the movie industry. As a new one came out the interest in the earlier ones was also renewed.
The Superman movies have all been released on DVD’s individually and as a box set. For the Superman lover, that could make a very good present. You can be sure the Superman movies will also be among those that get released on the new Blu-Ray as well. People of all ages really enjoy them. If you have the older Superman movies, you may want to get the new releases. The are full of never before seen footage and extras that you will really enjoy watching.


Similarity Breeds Comedy

Similarity Breeds Comedy

My last piece I talked about associating or pairing up opposites to produce funny ideas. Now we associate SIMILARITY or CONGRUITY; by puting the same or similar objects, person or animals together to engender laughter.
One good example is a pair of identical twins or two person wearing the same clothes. They naturally appear "odd" or "funny" to others. People will stare, giggle or whisper some cheeky or unkind remarks uder their breath. It’s a very normal response.
For cartoonists, this association of similarity can spawn lots of funny doodles. They can draw a person looking like an animal or two unrelated objects which are visually alike. The most popular is the garden hose partly hidden by the foliage and mistaken as a snake.
Caricature is a visual art form that employs the technique of congruity. It doesn’t look exactly like the actual person being drawn, but just a distorted or an exaggerated impression of the person and it looks kind of funny, doesn’t it?
Aside from visual art form, many verbal humor derives from this technique too. The most obvious form of verbal humor is the puns. A pun is a play on words, usually humorous based on several meanings of one word, or a similarity of meanings between words that are pronounced the same or the different in meanings between two words pronounced the same and spelled somewhat similarly. Following closely is another form verbal humor, called the double entendres. It can be a word or an expression having a double meaning, especially the second meaning is risque.
So, similarity breeds not only contempt, but comedy too!

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The fact that so many celebrities find their autographs up for sale is really annoying to them. In protest of this fact, many of them don’t sign on a regular basis anymore. They are more concerned with promoting their skills or even supporting other organizations with their time.
Yet many celebrities are more than willing to sign for a good cause. Jay Leno is famous for having motorcycles, jackets and more signed by handfuls of celebrities. The money raised from the sales of these items goes for various charities that Leno supports. This is a great way for those in such a position to offer their support as well.
You will find plenty of places online that offer autographs for sale. You definitely what to do your homework to make sure that it is a real signature. There are plenty of ways to fake a good one these days. You may pay hundreds of dollars for an autograph to discover it isn’t legitimate.
Many sporting goods stores offer autographs for sale from various players. They may be on helmets, balls, jerseys, or other items. The cost of such an autograph depends on the status of the player. When they retire or they change teams their items are often worth more. It is a good idea to get your autographed sports items when someone is still a rookie before the prices increase.
It is amazing what people are willing to pay for a certain autograph though. Some of them are very rare due to the person choosing not to give out very many of them. Collectors look for these rare items and they are often willing to pay thousands of dollars once they have verified that the autograph is real.
If you are interested in a particular autograph, you should be able to locate it. You may not like the price associated with it though. Still, having such autographed items can be fun. Some people make a living though out of getting these autographs and then selling them. It is controversial as to if it is ethical for them to be doing so. Many celebrities feel that they are being exploited in this manner.




Plants and Music
Do your gardenias grooves to Gershwin or your marigolds
melt to Mozart? Perhaps your peonies perk up to Pavarotti
and your roses rock out to the Ramones? There is much
speculation in the scientific community, but many gardeners
swear music will revive wilting plants and urge flowers to
bloom. In 1973, the revolutionary book The Sound of Music
and Plants was written by Dorothy Retallack on scientific
experiments involving plants and music.
Retallack’s book was based not on myths but facts. Yes, she
conducted experiments to come to the conclusion that music
has an everlasting affect on plants. Retallack placed
plants of same species in three separate laboratories at
the Colorado Women’s College, Denver. She played different
durations of music to each plant and analyzed their growth
pattern. What she observed was that the plant that listened
to music three hours a day grew thrice as large and twice
as strong as the plant that was placed in the music-free
Dorothy Retallack tried experimenting with different types
of music. She played rock to one group of plants and
soothing music to another. The group that heard rock turned
out to be sickly and small whereas the other group grew
large and healthy. What’s more surprising is that the group
of plants listening to the soothing music grew bending
towards the radio just as they bend towards the sunlight.
This experiment was a great eye-opener for plant lovers.
They started playing music to their plants and strongly
recommended others to do the same and also pick the right
type of music for your plants. Remember that slow and
soothing music has a beneficial effect on plants, and loud
and jarring music has a harmful effect on them. Another
point to be considered is the length of time to play music
to the plants. Dorothy Retallack showed through her
experiments that about three hours of music a day is just
right. More than that would damage the growth of your
plants. As a rule, plants have shown the best response to
classical music. That is why plant lovers like to play
Mozart, Bach and Beethoven rather than more boisterous
Although music is not an absolutely proven factor in plant
development, several studies, along with Dorothy
Retallack’s groundbreaking series of experiments, have
aided the musical development theory. If you are
interested in exploring this option with your own
garden, consult The Sound of Music and Plants or other
resources to ensure you expose your plants to the optimal
type of music for the appropriate amount of time.

Moe, Larry And Curly

Moe, Larry And Curly

Moe, Larry and Curly, do the names ring a bell? If you ever watched Saturday morning television, you probably know who I am talking about. I owe these guys big time. If it wasn’t for them, I never would have had such a good time when I went to those cheap movies in Brooklyn as a kid. They always featured 3 movies and 21 cartoons, including the Three Stooges, every Saturday. You can imagine how long we spent in the theatre on that day. We would be there for about six hours. But the highlight of the day was always those three zany guys. The theatre would show old movies so the price of admission was cheap There was usually one cowboy movie, one mystery movie and then a random type movie. Somehow they always managed to show movies that kids would like.
They weren’t always The Three Stooges and there wasn’t always the same three people. When they first broke into vaudeville, their act was called Ted Healy and his Stooges. Moe was Harry Moses Howard but he had formerly been named Horwitz. He started out with his brother Shemp, I’m sure you all remember him, his name was Samuel Howard. As the act progressed another person joined. He was Larry Fine. Remember the guy with the bushy hair that Moe kept pulling out? Larry Fine was really Louis Feinberg. Shemp got his name because his mother had a thick accent and that was the best she could do while trying to pronounce Samuel.
The act didn’t stay together this way for too long because Shemp decided he wanted to leave and pursue a career in the movies. Shemp was replaced by his brother Curly Howard. Sometimes you will see it spelled Curley. Curly’s name was Jerome Howard. People called him Babe. The Stooges were not happy. They didn’t like the way Ted Healy treated them. They got lucky and signed with Colombia Pictures and were paid the salary of a few hundred dollars per week. Little did they know at the time that they would be starring in the incredible amount of over 190 movies. No wonder there are so many Three Stooges movies on tv.
Things were going pretty well for them until 1945 when Curly suffered a stroke. Because of his stroke, Curly appears in only 97 of the movies. Most of these movies were shorts, but we used to look forward to seeing them more than the features. When a Three Stooges movie would come on, everyone would clap, it was something to see. Shemp returned and he appeared in a total of 73 movies. But Shemp didn’t stay and in 1956 Joe Besser replaced him. I have nothing against Joe Besser, its just that I thought he wasn’t funny. I felt he sort of lowered the fun factor of the films. Joe had to leave when his wife became ill and he was replaced by another unfunny guy named Joe DeRita, who tried to imitate the original Curly, without success.
In 1970 Larry Fine suffered a stroke while filming Kook’s Tour which was never finished. He died in 1975. Emil Sitka was to replace Larry but then Moe died and that was the end of the Three Stooges as an act.
The Stooges were very popular and in 1959 the entire Stooge’s library of films were syndicated by Columbia for television. Now a new generation of people would get to enjoy the antics of those three crazy guys. Many people have criticized the violence in the Three Stooges Movies, but it is so bizarre that even little children know it isn’t real. It is sort of a form of cartoon violence but with real actors. Fifty nine percent of all Americans who are at least 30 years old can name the Three Stooges but hardly anyone can name all the Justices of the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, there are four of the Stooges’ movies in the public domain. They are:
Disorder in the Court (1936)
Malice in the Palace (1949)
Sing A Song of Six Pants (1947)
Brideless Groom (1947)
It is amazing how a professional film company can let some movies fall into this category. It is sad that The Three Stooges never made it in tv. They had made a pilot for a show called Jerks Of All Trades in 1949. You would have thought with all the Milton Berle type humor at the time that they would have been a shoo-in.
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the Stooges made only film shorts, they also made 19 full length films, the first one was Soup To Nuts in 1930 and the last was The Outlaws Is Coming in 1965. The Three Stooges were loved by many people, including me. They are gone now, but the memory of them lives on in their films. Maybe some day, even a hundred years from now or longer, children will still be laughing as Moe keeps hitting his thumb with a hammer and turning and slapping Larry every time.

Fun Ideas For The Holidays

Fun Ideas For The Holidays

The holiday season is a great time to share some smiles and laughs! And holiday humor helps you develop a well-tuned humor radar.
1. Have a humorous gift exchange at your holiday party. This works great if you have a healthy humor climate where people use humor in a positive way.
2. Just before the holidays, encourage people to bring some of their favorite ethnic holiday treats to work or one of your group meetings. Coming from a Norwegian background, I’d bring rosettes, fatigmand and lefse.
3. Decorate a tree for the holidays with a humorous flair. For example, a car dealership could decorate a tree using car parts. If you travel a lot, collect fun trinkets from your trips to brighten your tree.
4. Save the holiday cards you receive this year and "recycle" them next year. Just cross out the sender’s signature, sign your name, and mail it back to the person who gave it to you. You’ll start a humorous tradition. I do not recommend sharing this humorous exchange with everyone you get a card from. Be selective!
5. Look for opportunities to take a funny photo of yourself, your staff, or your family. Then use it on a photo holiday greeting card. I’ve sent a photo card sharing my Halloween costume as a power-nerd.
6. Create your own customized gift wrap. For example, on a large-sheet photo copier you could make personalized wrapping paper decorated with family photos or pictures from your office.
7. Wrap a holiday gift in a "nest of boxes" (a small box in a larger box, in a larger box, etc). When the large box is opened by the recipient, the box inside is addressed to someone else. And the next box is addressed to someone else! The final box indicates who really receives the gift; a "musical chairs" style of gift exchange. A nice touch is to give a gift in the final box that can be enjoyed by the whole group. For example, in a family situation, the final box may have Mom’s name on it, but contain a trip to Disneyland for the whole family. This is fun because everyone shared in opening the gift.
8. Make extra effort to guarantee that your holiday party is FUN. People won’t remember a chicken dinner a year from now. But they’ll always remember when they’ve had a great time and spent the evening laughing together. Your investment making sure the event is entertaining gives you great returns in goodwill and valuable experience in the planning process.
9. Assign a committee to prepare some holiday fun. Write a script filled with humor about your company and people you work with. Write a song parody of one of your favorite holiday tunes which is a tribute to your staff. Present it at a holiday party, or post it on a bulletin board in your office.
10. Remember the true sprit of the holidays. Tis the season to be jolly! Decorate your face with a smile and share it with others.

Are celebrities happy?

Are celebrities happy?

Before we begin asking if the celebrities are happy, let us first find out what is happiness? If I feel good for an hour a day, and horrible for the rest of the day, am I happy? What if I am happy for eight hours a day and horrible for the rest of the sixteen hours? Am I a happy person? For most of us happiness is a state that is not permanent. We are not happy throughout the day. At least majority of us are not.

What is happiness? Happiness means a sense of deep contentment. A cheerful outlook. An attitude of positive thoughts. A person who has these qualities is happy during all the times of the day.

How about celebrities then? They have name, fame and wealth. They can, not only buy whatever they desire, but they can also buy a loved one. They can buy anything. Their name is splashed around in the media most of the times. Every news about them is awaited by the general population. Celebrities may not have been born with a silver spoon in the mouth, but the current spoon is mostly that of gold. So they must be happy!

But sadly, happiness is away from most of them. Speaking of contentment, most of them are not only not feeling any contentment, but are frustrated. They are jealous at times. And they have no deep sense of peace in them. Rather their life and minds are full of turbulence most of the times. They are at times so dissatisfied with their own life that they wish to run away from themselves. This they cannot do, and therefore substances that take them away from their own realities are so often used by them.

Happiness has something to do with money, but only to an extent. Happiness has nothing to do with fame, if you are not satisfied with yourself. Whatever the world may say, unless one has self-esteem, one can never be happy. All of us sail in the same boat. Most of us are living unhappy lives most of the time. Let us get happiness that will give us a satisfied sense of living. Let us strive for happiness in our own inner world.